A little boy brought an empty shell casing to his preschool and was subsequently suspended for seven days, with the situation reported to social services.
The Collinsville mom behind a viral Facebook post spoke to Fox 2/News 11 Wednesday.
Her son, Hunter, 4, has been suspended from his preschool for bringing a shell casing from a fired bullet to school.
He’d been at the preschool for about a year, she said, and now was in tears.
Neither she nor Hunter’s dad knew it, but he found something he thought was pretty neat and he took it to school Tuesday to show his friends.
“This is a spent .22 caliber bullet casing,” Kristy Jackson said as she showed the shell casing that got Hunter into trouble.
“I was met with a stone-faced teacher who said that my son had a shotgun bullet. I was horrified thinking, ‘where could he have gotten this?’” Jackson said, describing what happened on Tuesday when she picked her son up from preschool in Troy, IL.
The boy’s parents then received a letter from the school’s director informing them that their child was suspended for seven days.
The letter further claimed that the shell casing incident wasn’t their only concern. It claimed that the school had repeatedly reminded them that Hunter’s enthusiasm for guns — by using toys as make believe guns — violated their school policy. The letter claimed that the parents had been reminded of this the day prior to Hunter bringing the shell casing.
The school’s vice-president told KTVI-TV that they were following school policy and it was not just about the shell casing incident, but that he could not elaborate further because of confidentiality.
Jackson noted how distraught her son is over the situation: “He’s cried about it and he doesn’t understand why his school hates him.”
According to Jackson, Hunter got the shell casing from a field during a visit to the house of his grandfather — who is a Caseyville police officer.
Hunter’s grandfather has reportedly focused on making sure that his grandson knows about hunting and gun safety at a young age.
“[Hunter] just was wandering around in a field and picked up and put it in his pocket and didn’t tell his parents…it’s paranoia,” Jackson said. “It’s something that’s become quite an epidemic where guns are automatically assumed that they’re bad…and I’m not sure how a 7-day suspension teaches my son anything about tolerance or anything about why he was wrong. It just means his school doesn’t want him there because of things he enjoys.”
The school’s vice-president e-mailed her that he was notifying the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). He confirmed that to Fox 2 but said since A Place 2 Grow was licensed by DCFS, DCFS needed to be notified.
Jackson said she was not sure if Hunter will return after the suspension.